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Landscape comprises the visible features of an area of land, including the physical elements of landforms such as (ice-capped) mountains, hills, water bodies such as rivers, lakes, ponds and the sea, living elements of land cover including indigenous vegetation, human elements including different forms of land use, buildings and structures, and transitory elements such as lighting and weather conditions.Combining both their physical origins and the cultural overlay of human presence, often created over millennia, landscapes reflect the living synthesis of people and place vital to local and national identity. Landscapes, their character and quality, help define the self-image of a region, its sense of place that differentiates it from other regions. It is the dynamic backdrop to people’s lives.The Earth has a vast range of landscapes including the icy landscapes of polar regions, mountainous landscapes, vast arid desert landscapes, islands and coastal landscapes, densely forested or wooded landscapes including past boreal forests and tropical rainforests, and agricultural landscapes of temperate and tropical regions.
Landscape may be further reviewed under the following specific categories: landscape art, cultural landscape, landscape ecology, landscape planning, landscape assessment and landscape design. The activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land is named Landscaping.The modern form of the word with its connotations of scenery appeared in the late 16th century when the term landschap was introduced by Dutch painters when referring to paintings of inland natural or rural scenery. Landscape, first recorded in 1598, was borrowed as a painters' term from Dutch during the 16th century, when Dutch artists were on the verge of becoming masters of the landscape art genre. According to Jackson: "From 1577 with Harrison's Description of Britain onwards, a new awareness of the aesthetic nature of landscape emerged as a new kind of topographical writing flourished...".: Originally the term was translated landskip which the Oxford English Dictionary refers to as the corrupt form of the word, gradually to be replaced by landscape; the English word is not recorded as used for physical landscapes before 1725 (OED). The word landskip, (from landschippe and landscipe?)is extensively discussed and actualized by Fitter.
October 13th, 2013
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